See a video clip of the First Presbyterian Church Concert on facebook!
The First Presbyterian Church welcomed award-winning musicians for its annual benefit concert on Saturday night. The show, entitled “Something Great and Wonderful” featured a range of classical and contemporary pieces that fit the theme, and the church’s overall mission.
The concert theme, “Something Great and Wonderful” stemmed from the Albert Einstein quote: “I wish to do something great and wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things as if they were great and wonderful.” The selected songs, such as opener “Fanfare and Simple Gifts” by Aaron Copland, emphasized making the most of all things in life.
Gareth Guest, who has been a part of the First Presbyterian Church community since 2007, said this concert was important not only for the church, but to “keep live music alive in the community.” He shared the three simple characteristics that make his church special: “Good music, good sermons, and a friendly congregation.” The church is referred to as “The Church of the Open Door,” due to its welcoming nature.
Guest, an elder, said that music is of integral importance to the church, because it helps draw people in. On every third Saturday of the month, starting on October 18, the church will hold its unique Jazz Vespers services, which blend prayer and improvised jazz music for an engaging spiritual experience. Guest, who lends his talents as a clarinetist to the Vespers, said the congregation and musicians feed off each other, and “the Spirit really flows” during the service.
Saturday’s concert was a departure from the church’s notable jazz. Associated Solo Artists are performers dedicated to bringing together the arts with education and leadership. John Cimino, President of ASA and baritone singer, connected with the First Presbyterian Church after playing with their pianist and music director, Tom McCoy. He said that ASA does several benefit concerts annually. “Whatever talents you have, you have to share them with others, otherwise they fade,” Cimino said.
The church, under Pastor Rev. Leslie Mott, is full of churchgoers who share their gifts to others in more ways than music. Their fall Midnight Run is happening on October 25. On this day, church volunteers will head down to New York City to distribute food and clothing directly to the homeless.
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